Many of us know the definition of leadership development.  It is a process wherein the leadership skills of a person are enhanced through a set of activities.  Today, the demand is critical that more organizations have their employees undergo a leadership development program if taking on a leadership role.  It is incumbent upon organizations to ensure that individuals realize the importance of being a responsible and effective leader.  I recently wrote about the impact on stock price great leadership can have as depicted in Mercer/Thinks info-graphic.

Why is Leadership Development Still So Important?

Aside from enhancing the leadership skills of people, leadership development also serves as a way for people to reflect on their own sets of values towards work and their co-workers in general.  It also paves the way for people to be inspired and motivated, regardless of the circumstances.  Leaders who are well developed know how to lead and manage through all different circumstances.

3 Simple Steps For Leadership Development

If you are an organization who is thinking about or implementing leadership development activities, I would highly recommend that the “whole-person” be included in your talks and sets of activities.  Why the whole-person?  Leaders have many different pressures and issues to contend with.  One of the most pressing today, is a leader’s personal life.  Now more than ever, our whole lives are coming to bear in how we can lead.  To help your leaders who are contending with not only professional, but personal challenges, motivate and encourage them to consider the following:

  1. Re-assess themselves. Many leaders think that they know themselves already so they decline to do self-assessments regularly.  Experts say that this type of leader doesn’t realize that the more they decline doing self-reassessments, the more they get stuck in their own routine.  This in turn leaves less room for improvement.  Self-reflection will help leaders learn to better identify their strengths and weaknesses.  From there, it will be easier to set goals for themselves that are within reach and their capabilities.
  2. Start with small and simple goals.   Small and simple goals are manageable.  New leaders tend to be overwhelmed with the extent of their role and responsibilities.  It is important that they feel as if something is being accomplished.  Giving permission to set 2 or 3 goals on how to lead more effectively, will lend itself well to motivating new leaders.  A goal such as having an off-site with their team, is a manageable goal within the right time-frame.
  3. Track progress. Monitoring how well or not so well they are doing will help them get real-time feedback.  Most of us like to know how we are doing.  Regular, consistent and HONEST feedback is inspiring and motivating.  It is easier to course correct when you get input timely.  Any leader who is developing will want to know what is going well or not.

Leadership development is a broad topic with leadership gurus writing about it constantly.  I have found the simpler the steps, the better chance of it actually being effective.  When leaders are inspired and motivated, he or she is able to develop the skills and enhance their capabilities to truly step in and up to great leadership.  The key is to develop this precious group of individuals.

For some additional reading on the topic of leadership development, you might want to check out this recent article by Greg Savage on the Huffington Post entitled, “People Don’t Leave Companies, They Leave Leaders“.  As Greg states, leaders are responsible for morale, communication and career pathing.  If senior management isn’t providing the motivation, the atmosphere, the ethos, the support, or the training – the question isn’t why is the employee resigning, it is why should they stay.  On the flip side, when you are developing your leaders actively and regularly, your employees will stay, for quite a long time.


As the CEO & Founder of East Tenth Group, Michelle leverages 25 years of business and experience as a strategic advisor and executive coach to help drive actionable people solutions and provide practical insights on business strategy to senior leaders. she and her team and are fiercely committed to the development and growth of people and companies because we believe that when people thrive, business thrives.

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